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Old August 19, 2011, 06:45 PM   #1
Join Date: June 6, 2010
Posts: 86
Lee-Enfield No. 4 foresight replacement

I have a Lee-Enfield No. 4, factory thorough repair, shiny nice barrel. It shoots beautifully, theoretically. Problem is the original front sight was way too short. I ordered some new foresights of various heights, but they are slightly different - split base instead of solid base. My original (too short) with the solid base fit snugly and, as expected, I had to tap it out with a punch. My new ones slide in way too easily and would never hold position under recoil.

Should I probably be trying to spread the halves of the (split) base, to make it sit tighter? I guess I could pry with a screwdriver or something....

Or should I use some kind of locking compound? If that happens I don't know if I will just break it free if (when!) I have to adjust for windage. (Smart gunsmiths put witness marks for where the original sight was to make their first windage closer to true. So of course I didn't.)

Or should I give up, move back to the original sight, and try to increase the height? I heard you could do that, with solder or something.

(The painful irony is that I do have a windage-adjustable rear. This could solve a lot of my problems, but the only possible use for the rifle is a World War II match, where it would be forbidden. I suppose the War Office did not take my problems into account when coming up with specs for the No. 4.)
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Old August 20, 2011, 12:03 AM   #2
T. O'Heir
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Join Date: February 13, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 8,519
"...split base instead of solid base..." That'd be some kind of aftermarket sight.
Gunparts lists front sight blades at $2.35 each. No mention of heights though.
"...try to increase the height?..." You could silver solder a bit of brass wire on top and file it.
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Old August 21, 2011, 06:10 AM   #3
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Marstar in Canada doesn't list a difference either. Sorry, they seem to be out of stock.
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Old August 26, 2011, 06:35 PM   #4
Join Date: June 6, 2010
Posts: 86
After a lot of googling, I found this.

I tried both proposed solutions. First, I turned the foresight upside down, put it in my vice, and peened its little feet with a centrepunch. It raised dimples, but it wasn't enough to stop slliding.

Then I slipped a screwdriver in between its feet and separated them slightly, probably much less than a sixteenth of an inch.

That pretty much did it. It slides in now and I need the centrepunch to move it. I'm not 100% sure recoil won't move it, but I'll bet on it since recoil is completely orthogonal to the axis on which the sight slides.
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